Bells Beach to host Rip Curl Pro until 2028

April 2, 2024 BY

Ellie Harrison of Australia surfs in Heat 2 of the Round of 16 at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on March 27, 2024. Photo: ED SLOANE / WSL

THE Victorian Government has reaffirmed its commitment to world-class surfing by renewing its partnership with the World Surf League (WSL), ensuring the Rip Curl Pro remains at Bells Beach until 2028.

Minister for Tourism, Sport, and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos, announced the continuation of the world’s longest-running surfing competition, highlighting its importance to the Surf Coast region.

“We’re proud to be locking in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach for another four years, attracting thousands of visitors to the Surf Coast region and boosting local businesses and jobs,” he said.


Crowd during Finals Day of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on April 17, 2022 at Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia. Photo: BEATRIZ RYDER / WSL


Bells Beach’s inclusion in the WSL Championship Tour (CT) is deeply valued, though its hosting is not guaranteed annually.

This was highlighted in 2021 when COVID-19 measures necessitated the event’s relocation to NSW, leading Rip Curl to sponsor three alternate Australian leg events.

Rip Curl Founder and pro surfing legend Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick said at the time that it was all about keeping the tour alive.

“When the WSL told us they had three alternative World Tour events to sponsor after the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach got cancelled due to Covid 19 we did what comes natural and got involved,” he said.

The cancellation shocked the local community and the state, prompting the rapid negotiation of a three-year deal which was due to end this year.


Eleven-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater of the United States surfs in Heat 3 of the Opening Round at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on March 26, 2024 at Bells Beach. Photo: ED SLOANE / WSL


Mirroring the ever-changing landscape of professional surfing, the evolving WSL Championship Tour showcases the sport’s dynamic nature and its global appeal.

The 2024 season commenced at Pipeline, Hawaii, on 29 January, journeying through Sunset Beach and Peniche, Portugal, before arriving at the iconic Bells Beach.

Post-Bells, the tour makes five more stops before reaching its climax at the finals in Lower Trestles, San Clemente, California, completing a ten-event global circuit.


Ellie Harrison of Australia after surfing in Heat 2 of the Round of 16 at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on March 27, 2024. Photo: ED SLOANE / WSL


WSL APAC President Andrew Stark said he was stoked the iconic event would continue at Bells.

“WSL is thrilled to secure the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach until 2028, an iconic event on the WSL Championship Tour, and we sincerely thank the Victorian Government for their ongoing support, ensuring this tradition of ringing the Bell at Bells Beach endures.”

The Victorian government’s support includes maintaining wildcard entries for local up-and-comers in both the men’s and women’s competitions, enabling them to compete against top international talent.

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